Bonaire’s First Dive Hotel Celebrates This Week With Deals and Events

Divi Flamingo Beach Resort in Bonaire is celebrating the property’s 60th anniversary throughout 2012 with a calendar of monthly events and specials.  This week however, Divi Flamingo Beach Resort honors Peter Hughes, Divi’s original dive master, with the inauguration of the Peter Hughes Room, a meeting and reception room located at the Divi Dive shop. Peter Hughes has returned this week to the resort for “Legends of Divi Past,” a 7-day celebration, filled with dives, parties and reminiscing. A ribbon cutting and champagne reception is set for Thursday, June 21st at 5:30 PM.

“For avid divers, island history buffs, and those curious about the evolution of tourism on Bonaire, the event is a unique occasion,” says Sara Matera, long-time general manager of the Divi Flamingo Beach Resort.   Adds E. J. Schanfarber, CEO of Divi Hotels Marketing, “Peter’s role in the development of Bonaire as a tourist and dive destination is indisputable.  We are extremely proud that he is part of our Divi family and history.”

Peter Hughes started working on Bonaire, on Boxing Day 1975, taking over what was the island’s first dive operation, at the Flamingo Beach Club.  At the time, there were only two hotels:  The Flamingo Beach Club with 26 bungalows and the larger, now-defunct, Hotel Bonaire.  “From day one in 1975, we were handling four to six divers a day,” Hughes recalled.  A decade later, the hotel, which had changed its name to Divi Flamingo Beach Resort, was taking 275 divers a day, six days a week, out to explore Bonaire’s waters.  The original and tiny dive shop became a laundry office, and was expanded several times under Peter’s management, striving to accommodate the ever-increasing number of divers.

Pictured here in Bonaire on day #1 of the celebration Peter Hughes and the giants of his generation past dive operators & dive masters including Alan Jardine, Harry Ward, Craig Burns and Max Hillier.

“‘> ? te?? ??? er mark and extending to 200 ft (60 meters) of depth, covering an area of 6672 acres, or 27 km²)

In Peter’s view the mission of the Bonaire National Marine Park, protecting and managing the island’s natural, cultural and historical resources, while allowing ecologically sustainable use, paid off, and the continuous maintenance and restoration of the ecosystems, aids the island’s biological diversity, and the ecological processes, for the benefit of future generations.

Peter Hughes started working on Bonaire, on Boxing Day 1975, taking over what was the island’s first dive operation, at the Flamingo Beach Club.  At the time, there were only two hotels:  The Flamingo Beach Club with 26 bungalows and the larger, now-defunct, Hotel Bonaire.  “From day one in 1975, we were handling four to six divers a day,” Hughes recalled.  A decade later, the hotel, which had changed its name to Divi Flamingo Beach Resort, was taking 275 divers a day, six days a week, out to explore Bonaire’s waters, at an unmatched level of comfort and convenience and the original and tiny dive shop  expanded considerably to accommodate the ever-increasing number of divers.

Serge Dive Operations Manager and Peter also recognized Enrique for 31 years of diving. Hired by Peter as a local dive master Enrique, who still lives in the village of Rincon, is famous for always pointing out turtles and seahorses to his clients.

For more about Peter Hughes visit www.galapagossky.com and the Dive Encounters Alliance.